THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
Bruce Hurst leads the Sox past the Angels
5, 1986 ... The
Red Sox won a wet, 3-0 decision over the California Angels by
challenging a sore-armed outfielder with a bum leg shortstop last
night. The battle came in the third inning of Boston's 3-0 win at
Fenway Park when limping Glenn Hoffman outran a limping throw from
Angels left fielder Brian Downing.
Angels were scattering hits without effect all over Fenway Park, the Red Sox
were biding their time until they could put two together in the same zip code to
take a 1-0 lead in the third inning. With one out, Hoffman ripped a double high
off the left-field wall that barely missed going out, and after Dwight Evans
popped out, Wade Boggs went with a Mike Witt pitch on the outside half of the
plate and slapped the ball into left field for a single. Third-base coach Rene
Lachemann took one glance at Downing, the Angels' left fielder whose arm has had
so many rotator cuff operations it is now made of fine china, and he decided to
keep Hoffman running bad ankle and all. And Hoffman couldn't have found anything
better to run on this side of artificial turf. Hoffman scored easily when
Downing's throw went wide to the left of catcher Bob Boone and Boston had given
Hurst a lead he could work with.
not have come as a complete shock to the Angels since Boggs is hitting higher
than .400 lifetime against them and is on a bit of a tear at the moment. Going
into last night's game Boggs was hitting .471 in his last five games and .400
over the past 14, so there was little reason to assume he would slow down for
What was a
little more difficult to accept with such assurance was the pitching of Hurst,
who somehow managed to hold his lead through eight innings despite the Angels
battering him for eight hits. Yet the only time Hurst was anywhere near trouble
came in the fifth when he gave up a lead-off single to Boone and Gary Pettis
followed with another single to left field. Hurst momentarily quieted things
when he struck out Rick Burleson looking, but it took a Greg Louganis style dive
in center field to keep the Angels off the scoreboard. Center fielder Steve
Lyons sprinted over to right-center field after a sinking Wally Joyner liner and
at the last moment he dove flat on his chest and made a skidding catch. When he
came to a stop, so did the Angels' rally, the victim of some faulty base running
by Boone, who is also known as the Samurai Warrior of the basepaths. Boone was
two thirds of the way to third before becoming an easy double-play victim when
Lyons scrambled up and threw to Hoffman at second to end the rally and the
The Sox lost
a chance to add to their lead in the fourth when Jim Rice led off with a double
only to expire at second when Don Baylor, Rich Gedman and Marty Barrett couldn't
get the ball out of the infield.
thing happened in the seventh when Barrett led off with a single but was forced
out by Lyons. Lyons then advanced to second on Witt's wild pitch but Hoffman
struck out, Dwight Evans walked and Downing made his own sliding catch along the
left- field foul line on a sinking Boggs fly to end the inning without a second
run being scored.
The Sox came
back at Witt again in the eighth when Jim Rice lined his second double of the
night down the right-field line with one out and then moved to third a pitch
later when Witt launched his second passed ball of the night. Rice then scored
when Baylor batted a ball off the heel of shortstop Dick Schofield's glove. The
ball bounded over Schofield's head and landed along the back of the infield.
While Schofield searched for the ball, Rice skittered home to make it 2-0.
Gedman then singled to right to send Baylor to third as Witt began to search for
a bar of soap to take with him to the showers. Marty Barrett then blasted a shot
over the head of Pettis in center field, but he ran it down and made an
over-the-shoulder catch that erased Barrett, but allowed Baylor to score from
third to make it 3-0.
Hurst was calmly scattering hits and finally getting at least some of the luck
he deserved in several earlier outings to preserve the lead on his way to
evening his record at 2-2.